Sun rays pushed their way thru the wisps of fog, which hovered above the lawn of Hippie Hill in San Francisco. During the Summer of Love protestors, musicians and young people came together to take in the sweet smells. Pass the joint and celebrate, for their was much to be thankful for. On any one day in ’67, you might visit the knoll at the east end of Golden Gate Park and spy Charles Manson lecturing on the evils of desegregation or Captain Trips playing with The Dead or Peter Coyote recruiting troops for his anarchist Diggers.
Drum circles, swirls of smoke and dancing were common scenes, everyone connecting with each other and the universe, dropping acid, throwing out smiles. You might even look up toward the Janis Joplin Tree and catch a wild-eyed girl with her guitar. To this day it is still one of the best people-watching places in the City.
Hippie Hill and drugs were synonymous, soul mates to the bitter end. Back in the day, many hallucinogens such as LSD were new on the scene, not even catalogued by government agencies and, therefore, legal and sold without threat of arrest. You can still get a taste of the past by visiting Hippie Hill on 4/20. Some 8,000 believers skipped to the spot this last April to reminisce and take a hit on the memories of yesteryear.
Sidebar: A group of San Rafael High School students in 1971 first used the term 4:20, referring to their gathering time after the last class was let out. They called themselves the “Waldos”, as they met near a popular wall where they searched for an abandoned cache of weed, based on a treasure map supplied by the grower. No bogarting allowed.